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Art writ large: Pencil Garden pops up

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Sopris Sun Staff Report

More than three months in the making, the Pencil Garden has popped up in downtown Basalt, with the official unveiling during the Wyly Art Center’s “Pencil Us In” gala on Aug. 8.

“Basalt’s arts and cultural assets are vital to our downtown’s redevelopment,” said Mike Scanlon, Basalt town manager. “The presence of community art, like The Wyly Art Center’s Pencil Garden, will increase attention and foot traffic downtown by attracting visitors and increasing the length of time and money they spend in Basalt.”

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Artists, designers, creators and dreamers of all ages and abilities were asked to interpret what the pencil – the humblest of all art supplies and integral to many art forms – means to them.

The show attracted the following entries:

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• Alicia Matesanz de las Heras and Will Young – “Distilled Pencil”;

• Dick Carter – “Color Pencil, Red and Color Pencil, Blue”;

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• Gena Hawkins – “Mal di Testa”;

• Glenn Rappaport

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• Glenn H. Smith – “Thought Processed”;

• Greylin and John Gogolack – “Lego #2”;

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• Jake Bozza – “Mechanical Pencil”;

• John Bozza;

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• Michael Cleverly – “The Wind Passes and Knows”;

• Nancy Lovendahl – “Yabba-Dabba-Doo, 2015”;

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• Nicole Gogolak – “I Can Pencil You In?”;

• Penny Greenwell and Sebastian Miller (second grader) – “Multistage-Helicopter-Dragon Pencil”;

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• Ray Seelbinder – “#2,200 Pencil”;

• Steve and Wewer Keohane – “Writer’s Block”;

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• Travis Fulton and Bill Hunt – “The Pen Is Mightier Than the Sword”.

Cash prizes of $1,500, $1,000, $500 and $250 will be awarded on Aug. 8.

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The Pencil Garden is one component of a town-wide arts and cultural transformation plan developed by The Wyly Art Center and town of Basalt, according to a press release. The plan is designed to spark cultural engagement, civic and social vitality, and economic revitalization. “The Wyly Art Center is constantly working to enrich our community through the expansion of art and arts education, said Wyly Board President Jay Magidson. “Creating inspiring public spaces like the Pencil Garden will provide opportunities for visitors to relate, connect, pause, think, and grow.”

The Wyly’s “Pencil Us In” gala will include a silent auction of local artwork with bids starting at $100. Tickets for the dinner and silent auction are $150. Sponsorships are still being accepted at the $5,000, $2,500 and $1,000 levels. At the gala, Sarah Peterson will be honored with the Wyly’s Creative Force award.

The Pencil Garden is located at the east end of Lions Park, adjacent to the Wyly Art Center, town hall and the Basalt Chamber of Commerce.

For more information, call the Wyly Art Center at 927-4123.

Published in The Sopris Sun on August 6, 2015.